Learn About an Addiction to Opiates

Addiction to opiates is one of the most dangerous and difficult to overcome addictions that there is. Opiates are a class of drugs that are derived from the opium poppy and include a variety of substances such as many prescription painkillers, heroin, opium and Morphine.

These drugs are highly dangerous and they have a very wide potential for abuse which will lead to addiction. The worst part of an opiate addiction for most people is the fact that it literally changes the chemical makeup of the brain in a manner that makes it difficult to ever fully return to normal.

HeroinOpiate Tolerance

The first sign of an opiate addiction is tolerance. This can begin to develop after just a couple of times of using an opiate.

Tolerance is the effect of taking a drug and developing an ability to withstand more of the drug without having the same effects. As opiate tolerance builds, the user will have to take more and more of the drug in order to produce the same effects as before.

Opiate Dependence

As opiate tolerance develops, the user will begin to become dependent on the drug. Opiate dependence is not necessarily addiction, but it is dangerous because it is the next phase of potential addiction.

Dependence develops as the user’s body adjusts to the opiates and begins to feel the need for opiates. Once opiate dependence develops, the user will experience at least mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms when he or she quits taking opiates.

Opiate Addiction

Prolonged or excessive and repeated use of opiates such as heroin or morphine will lead to addiction. Addiction is both physical and psychological in scope and takes over many if not every aspect of a user’s life.

When opiate addiction sets in, the user cannot think about anything else but their addiction and their desire, urge or need to use opiates in order to feel normal, ok or at least not sick. Opiate addiction is difficult to treat and often requires medication in addition to counseling and therapy.

Opiate Detox and Withdrawal

When a user who is addicted to opiates decides that it’s time to stop using and to get back to a life of sobriety, quitting may not be that simple. Opiate detox is the first phase of addiction recovery but it’s also the most difficult because this is when opiate withdrawals begin to set in.

Opiate withdrawals may include many difficult to cope with symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhea; stomach cramps, and even the potential for hallucinations.

Treatment for opiate addiction is a long and difficult road, but the result of not getting help is typically death!

Resources:

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/topics-in-brief/buprenorphine-treatment-opiate-addiction-right-in-doctors-office

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